Luvey ‘n Rose Art Gallery and Coffee Shop in Cape Town

The Bo-Kaap’s eclectic resident art salon and café ups and moves to Loop Street

Delightful art gallery and antique furniture store Luvey ‘n Rose may have begun its life quietly and unassumingly in the backstage region of the Bo-Kaap, but it didn’t take long for the salon to raise its voice a little, walk out of the wings and step into the spotlight of the Mother City’s CBD.

In early July 2014, the delightful shop, which originally launched in April 2013 on Rose Street, re-opened amidst the fashion boutiques and design store of Loop Street, heralding a whole new era of existence. Though, despite the new address and life phase, what hasn’t changed at all is the venue’s core objective: to re-imagine the traditional exhibition space as a place that’s unpretentious, warm and inviting, not stark and clinical.

“The idea has always been to present art differently, in a setting where people can come relax, drink coffee or tea and really spend time with the work,” explains Eastern Cape-born founder Ignatius Claassen, who found his niche in the creative world after 23 years spent in the corporate realm.

For this reason, Luvey ‘n Rose (the name is a quirky play on the phrase La Vie en Rose, which translates to ‘life through rose-coloured glasses’) looks more like an art hoarder’s house than a conventional gallery. The double-storey salon stretches across six rooms in an old 18th-century building that still groans with history, and all of the works, furniture and other eclectic bits and bobs are arranged as they would be in a charmingly cluttered home. Oil paintings, water colours, charcoal sketches and more creep up the walls to meet solid wooden ceiling beams, Persian rugs spread out across creaky floors and a mixed medley of chairs, couches, stools, lamps and old-school cabinets filled with hip flasks, vintage ash trays, kitchen scales and other paraphernalia from days gone by give the space a lived-in feel.

Visitors are encouraged to settle down and get comfortable in any of the several rooms – they can play chess at one of the worn tables, take a seat on one of the luxurious antique sofas or spend some time peering into dressers and timber boxes. And yet, almost everything guests can see, touch or sit on is for sale, from hat stands and Victorian easels to grand works by South African masters like Pierneef or Walter Battiss and striking pieces by contemporary artists like Karin Preller, Olaf Bisschoff, Marlene Dumas and Zolani Siphungela.

To further shatter the stereotypical image of a gallery, food and drink is available for purchase too. The rustic downstairs bar serves up Deluxe Coffeeworks coffee, TWG teas, an assortment of juices and tasty pastries, sandwiches and soups made by new nearby restaurant Borage Bistro (the chef at this eatery has worked under culinary stars Heston Blumenthal and Luke Dale-Roberts, so you can expect top-notch fare). Not to mention, because Ignatius is such a fan of cigars, the salon also sells Cubans in various sizes, from small clubs to giant Wide Churchills.

So, if you’re in the mood for a puff or a pain au chocolate amidst a setting that oozes equal measures of old-world charm and creativity, trundle down to the gallery’s new premises and see for yourself just why Luvey ‘n Rose is deserving of a centre-stage spot in the CBD.

Tip: The salon runs an early-bird special on its coffee between 8am and 9am every morning, so arrive when the sun’s still low in the sky and save a few bucks. Also, if you have any queries about the artworks or furniture and the stories behind each item, just ask one of the staff members – they’re all very clued up.

The Bill: At Luvey ‘n Rose, you can spend as little as R15 if all you’re after is a croissant or as much as R150 000 if you’re in the market for a painting by one of the masters. Coffee ranges from R17 to R23 after 9am, tea is R25, ice tea or juice is R15, sandwiches cost between R50 and R55, soups are all R50 and cigars are priced from R30 to R300. The artworks, furniture and objets d’art cost anything from R2,000 to R350,000.

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 8am – 6pm; Saturday: 9am – 2pm

66 Loop Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)83 557 7156

By Dayle Kavonic


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